• Chantal Canales

8 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health in Quarantine

Originally Posted for Her Campus Media

Quarantine. Self-Isolation. Shelter-in-Place. COVID-19: our new normal caused us to take all aspects of our lives and shove them into our homes. Classes taking place on Zoom in your houses shared with several other people trying to manage one of the most unprecedented times of our lives.

With shoving everything into the confines of our homes, our mental health may be taking a toll. So much change in such a short amount of time causes my head to spiral, and I know I am not the only one out there grasping for a solution.

Here is a list of 8 ways to take better care of yourself during quarantine.

1. Write in a gratitude journal In all the craziness in the world, there is a lot to be grateful for: the sun shining, smiling babies, more time on your hands for your passion project, your health, family time, and world pollution decreasing. And that’s just the start. It takes five minutes of your day, and it’s a good reminder of some good in a seemingly dark and lonely world right now.

2. Don't stay in your sweats all day I know it’s tempting to stay in your Lululemons or your cheap joggers from Target all day every day, but changing into an outfit you select from your wardrobe can give you a feeling of a fresh start with some normalcy. You definitely don’t have to go all out with business attire, but a fresh t-shirt and a pair of jeans makes you feel a little bit more put together for a day of class and assignments. The temptation to go straight back to bed with my baggy sorority shirt and Nike shorts is too much.

3. Stick to a schedule I saw this tip on Tik Tok surprisingly, and they are not kidding. Our lives revolve around a schedule, so now when it seems like the world is slowing down, don’t fall behind. Get up when you would normally get up each day, make yourself some breakfast or coffee, and get things done. Log in to class, complete assignments, eat, and back to work. When everything is done, settle back into Netflix, the unfinished puzzle, a new art project, whatever gives you a break from the craziness.

4. Get outside. Like really. Coming from a girl who hates when a bug lands on her, I even struggled to leave my house and spend time outdoors. But even sitting in the sunshine for an hour makes the world of the difference. Not to get poetic, but there is a difference in the warmth from the sun rather than your huddle of blankets in your bed. Grab a towel, a good book, a cold drink, and some SPF, and you are good to go!

5. Unplug from social media It may be hard to disconnect from such a vital way to connect with people and what’s happening with COVID-19, but even a few hours away from endless scrolling is a better use of your time. Do something productive or something that you will actually enjoy. Talk with your family on the phone or in person, write letters to your friends, or check in with a friend over Facetime. Get some human interaction that isn’t a still picture on your screen.

6. Start that project you've been putting off Get artsy by sketching or doodling, making jewelry, or messing around with some craft materials from your office. DIY and spruce up some old jeans or sneakers and paint them. If you are getting ambitious, start a blog or a small business! The world is your oyster, and your worst excuse ever that you never have time is finally not true!

7. Clean your room Do it. The cleaning of cluttered clothes and blankets, finished popcorn bags, and empty glasses make for such a better mentality about tackling your day. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind, and spending an hour or two to organize your room will make you feel better, I promise.

8. If nothing else works, consider talking to someone This new world we live in is full of unknowns, and that is scary. With that, it is okay to talk to a professional about what you are feeling. Baylor Counseling is allowing people to make virtual appointments via phone or teleconference. There are also other online services, such as BetterHelp and TalkSpace, which is offering discounted rates right now.

Baylor Counseling: 254-710-2467

Through this time of tremendous change, remember that everything right now is temporary, and there are ways to make it better!